Mar 23

How to practice social distance with kids in tow

by Meghan Fitzgerald

If you are wondering if it’s still okay to take a hike or be in a local green space or want the official word, we rely on the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). With their guidance in mind, here are some easy ways to keep you, your kiddos and other people safe:

• Adjust your timing. Hit the park early or late, adjusting your timing so that there are fewer people there at the same time. 

• Keep your distance. Once you get to the park, find a quiet corner where your family can easily maintain 6 feet of space from others. As you walk through the park, help remind kids to leave 6 feet of space from passers by. How can you help little kids remember to keep that particular distance? Before you head out, find a 6-foot something in your home, like a couch or an adult lying on the floor. You and your child can stand at either end and get a feel for 6 feet (and try not to step on anyone!). Once kids are experts at identifying 6-feet, make a game out of it: Family members can make buzz alarm sounds when anyone gets too close as you move around.

• Avoid surfaces that are easily contaminated. Avoid the playground, benches or other surfaces fellow humans love to touch or surfaces like metal or plastic, on which researchers find that the virus lives longest. To make it easy, you can set the rule that you’re not going to touch anything “not from nature.”

• Paws! Still nervous that your kids are going to touch everything? Wear “paws” (i.e. socks) that can function as gloves and enjoy a little furry friend pretend play, too.

Share more tips. Join our #OutdoorsAll4 Facebook Group to share even more ideas about how to make time outdoors safe, fun and enriching for your family.


Meghan Fitzgerald


After 20+ years as an educator, curriculum developer and school leader, I have my dream gig—an entrepreneur/educator/mom who helps families everywhere, including my own, learn outside. Prior to Tinkergarten®, I worked as an Elementary School Principal, a Math/Science Specialist & and a teacher in public and private schools in NY, MA and CA. I earned a BA with majors in English and Developmental Psychology at Amherst College, an MS in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College, and was trained to become a Forest School leader at Bridgwater College, UK. My worldview is formed in response to my environment, culture, family, identity and experiences. What I write in this blog will inevitably betray the blind spots I have as a result—we all have them! Please reach out if there are other perspectives or world views I could consider in anything I write about. I welcome the chance to learn and update any pieces to broaden our shared perspective!

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